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Rocky Mountain Neurological Disorders Center Core


Microscopy Core

Bill Betz, Core Director

The microscopy core has two components:

  1. Light Microscopy. The light microscopy facility is housed in RC-1 North East of the elevators. It houses a variety of microscopes including a Zeiss 510 confocal microscope that will be equipped with a metadetector for simultaneous detection of multiple emission wavelengths with funds provided by our NINDS grant. The facility also includes a deconvolution microscope, a total internal reflection (TIRF) microscope and a rotating disk confocal (see Light Microscopy Core Facility for full description). Individuals who want to use the light microscopy facility should contact Christine Romberg. Usage of the facility will be recorded, and access will be prioritized on usage history if demand exceeds capacity.
  2. Electron Microscopy. The electron microscopy facility is located in the first floor of RC-1 South (East of the elevators). A new a state-of-the-art TECNAI G1 12 BioTwin microscope was recently purchased with a SIG grant (Kathryn Howell, P.I.). This microscope is currently being installed, and dates and times for training sessions will be announced shortly. Our grant provides partial salary coverage for Dot Dill, the electron microscopy technician, who will assist individuals in sample preparation and use of the microscope. Individuals wishing to access the EM facility should contact Dot Dill.

Gene-Targeting/Viral Vector Core

Mark Dell'Acqua, Core Director

This core has two components:

  1. Generation of Gene-Targeted/Transgenic Mouse Constructs (Mark Dell'Acqua, Core B Director; Brain Parr, Coordinator; Wallace Chick; Research Associate). Neuroscience Program members interested in generating transgenic, knock-out and knock-in mice should contact Mark Dell'Acqua. Due to the highly specialized nature of the work only a small number of gene-targeted/transgenic mouse projects will be under taken at any given time. Selection of these projects will be based on proposals from investigators that will be evaluated by the Core B advisory panel (Wallace Chick, Brian Parr, Trevor Williams, Mark Dell'Acqua, and Diego Restrepo). Please contact Core B director Mark Dell'Acqua for more details.
  2. Generation of Viral Vectors for Infection of Neurons/Glia (Jerry Schaack, Coordinator). This aspect of the core is open for business. Individuals should contact Jerry Schaak.  

Zebrafish Transgenic Core

Angie Ribera, Director

The NINDS P30 Center Zebrafish Core has three Specific Aims:

  1. Create transgenic lines of zebrafish that express different fluorescent proteins in specific populations of pre- and postsynaptic neurons
  2. Create transgenic zebrafish strains that express genetically-encoded calcium indicator dyes in specific neuronal populations
  3. Maintain transgenic and wild type zebrafish strains for the UCD neuroscience community

During the first year of the grant, the fish facility at the Fitzsimons campus is being optimized and we are focusing on Aim 3. In subsequent years, Aims 1 and 2 will be a priority. The Core can cover the expenses associated with breeding wild type fish for pilot experiments. If you would like to use zebrafish embryos for pilot experiments, please contact Angie Ribera for further information.

Zebrafish transgenic lines express GFP in specific neuronal subpopulationsZebrafish transgenic lines express GFP in specific neuronal subpopulations. In the Figure, GFP expression is driven by the flh promoter. (This transgenic line was developed by Drs. Marnie Halpern and Josh Gamse - Carnegie Institute of Washington). At 48 hours post fertilization, GFP expression (green) is present in specific populations of motor neurons that extend axons either ventrally (down, asterisks) or dorsally (up, arrowhead). A subset of the axons also expresses the zn-8 epitope (red).  Zn-8 is a marker for axons of later-born (secondary) motor neurons.
Scale Bar: 25 µm.

Machine Shop

John Caldwell, Director

The Neuroscience core machine shop is located in room NG003 on the ground floor of Building 500 (northwest corner) at the Anschutz Medical Campus (View Map). The shop's equipment and staff are there to meet the custom machining needs of the faculty, staff and students of the Neuroscience program.

Click to view larger image of LAGUNThe shop machinery includes:

  • 2 milling machines with 9" x 42" tables (1 with digital readout)
  • 1 CNC milling machine (full 3-axis automation)
  • 2 Lathes
  • 2 wood/metal-cutting band saws
  • 1 table saw
  • 1 chop saw
  • 2 grinding machines
  • 1 drill press
  • 1 12" disk/6" belt sander
  • 1 52" shear
  • Extensive tooling & precision measuring devices

Click to view larger image of SHELDONThe shop stocks a modest amount of material (acrylic, aluminum, brass, hardware) for small projects, and this material is available to all. However, the cost of material not routinely kept on-hand is the responsibility of the laboratory requesting the project. Shop labor is provided at no cost to members of the Neuroscience Program.

The shop is staffed by one machinist 24 hours/week although there are currently no routine hours of operation. Contact Michael Hall at 303-724-1335 or, preferably, by e-mail at to discuss a project, to arrange a meeting or with questions.